PITTSBURGH -- Did the Pittsburgh Steelers fix the run game?
Head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert went into the 2021 NFL Draft with one objective above the rest - fixing the ground attack. After nine picks, eight undrafted free agents and a new superstar running back, the biggest question surrounding Pittsburgh is whether or not they solved their most pressing issue.
Improving from the leagues' worst run numbers isn't a hard task to accomplish. The Steelers are starting at the bottom with three new starters on the offensive line and Chukwuma Okorafor switching sides from right to left tackle. They're also adding a first-round running back.
The issue is whether or not the problem is solved right now. The Steelers have plenty of potential for the future in players like Kendrick Green and Dan Moore, but neither seems destined to start in 2021. Therefore, it's B.J. Finney (or J.C. Hassenauer) and Okorafor filling the needs at center and left tackle.
Maybe, overall, having Zach Banner back and Kevin Dotson starting full-time makes enough of a difference. Maybe, Okorafor plays better with better talent across the o-line. And maybe, just maybe, Finney is the guy many expected to replace Ramon Foster last season.
The definite answer is we don't know. It all depends on how much playing time these rookies need to handle and how much better the offensive line is with new faces and younger talent.
No one's questioning Najee Harris' ability out of the backfield. The 24th overall pick is coming off a 30-touchdown season, a unanimous All-American selection and the Doak Walker Award. Chances are he's ready to contribute, and contribute well, in an NFL offense.
Down the road, the Steelers run game is fixed. They answered the call and got the pieces for a successful transition from one generation of o-linemen to the next. The running back is a star and the rest of the offense takes a large chunk of the defense's attention away.
But right now, it's still a mystery whether or not the Steelers are in a place where dead-last goes to top half.